A new study from Boston’s Fenway Institute happily confirms what literally every sane, intelligent person already knew: that when it comes to trans and nonbinary kids and teens, peer pressure plays little to no part in the desire to transition.
This study strikes a definitive blow to the anti-trans legislators, politicians, and multi-headed hydra who have ramped up efforts this year to deny access to gender-affirming care and education, in addition to passing bills that would require the forcible detransition of minors as well as potentially removing them from supportive families in states like Texas, Florida, and Tennessee.
The study goes one step further in debunking the concept of “Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria,” (ROGD) a non-medical term coined by transphobic gender critics and parents to help justify claims about transness being some kind of social contagion.
“The notion of ROGD has been used in recent legislative debates to argue for and subsequently enact policies that prohibit gender-affirming medical care for TGD adolescents.” The study’s abstract explains. “Notably, all relevant major medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, oppose such legislative efforts.”
That won’t stop legislators from fighting their hardest to enact Draconian anti-trans policies in schools, but it does provide a helpful basis for fighting back against the fake science that Republicans and gender critical TERFs insist on believing in transness as a new concept created by the media, rather than an age-old reality.
More importantly, this study takes to task an earlier, much-cited study that relied only on participation from parents—both supportive and not—of transgender children, and has provided the basis for much of the panic surrounding minors and access to gender-affirming care.
The study points out what most of us in the queer community were already well aware of: that contrary to Republican belief, being trans doesn’t, in fact, shelter kids and teens from peer abuse and bullying, but makes them a target of abuse. The study, most importantly, provides scientific evidence that is “in direct contrast with central components of the ROGD hypothesis.”
According to the Fenway study’s co-author Dr. Jack Turban, “the idea that attempts to flee sexual minority stigma drive teenagers to come out as transgender is absurd.”